Monday, January 24, 2005

Smooth

Why am I in such a crappy mood today? Damn I hate rhetorical questions. I sort of know why but then maybe I don't. There are these times when nothing is as it should be. And this is one of those times. I have an hour and twenty minutes before I have to go to work and I'm just going to write because that's the reason I started this thing--to get back to writing, to figure out what style, content, and all that bullshit works for me, regardless of what anybody thinks, which I seem to care about more than what I think--reviews are nothing but a pretense for mental stimulation.

So yes, part of the problem is that I have to go to work at 1:30pm and be there for the next 13 hours and then do it again tomorrow, only starting a couple of hours later. I'm thankful for the work as it's not like we couldn't use the money, but sometimes these people who come to town and hire us aren't exactly the most enjoyable people to work for. (I know, suck it up slight. Well, suck this, I say.) And it's the fact of the job's timing, with the Mrs.' birthday right in the middle of it, on a Friday no less, and we started shooting on Saturday. I got to go out with her on Friday, but we didn't get to spend any time together on Saturday or Sunday, at her birthday 40s. And then I forgot to tell her that the last 2 shoot days were splits (half-day half-night) until last night so she gets up this morning all pissed at me, and the cat, and that gets me up in a bad mood. That and the cat buggin' for food. Me coming home last night with work still to do, waiting for people to call me back. Part of my job is to make sure everybody has all the information they need. Sometimes I leave this information in a message and ask them to call me back to confirm that they received the info. Sounds pretty easy right? I generally end the message saying "Call me back so I know you got the message." Some people do, but plenty don't. I don't know what they're thinking, but how hard is it to call me back? There are those who say these are adults and if they don't have the info they know who to call and that's true, but there are still adults who are... well, stupid. I've had times where people have called me and it doesn't show up in my phone, or somebody leaves a message but I don't get it for several hours or until the next day. How am I supposed to know this didn't happen to whomever I left one of those messages and that's why they haven't called back?

rant, rant, rant. this seems pointless. i have to remind myself that it isn't, but i don't think i'm doing a good job.

I look around this house and see so much more that makes me angry. This house makes me angry. That's why I want to move, partly. Why do we have so much crap? Why do people have to keep giving us crap? Just because we're married and want to buy a house doesn't mean we want or need to have stuff. But if you tell people that, they don't get it. I look at the bills needing to be paid and wonder, no, worry where that money is coming from, if it will be here in time. I keep saying I'm tired of being poor, of struggling, of going for the most part paycheck to paycheck, tired of thinking what others must be thinking of me, us.

breathes deeply, tries to calm down. doesn't really. okay, sort of.

When we were on our trip (oh god, not another story about the Trip. yes, another. deal with it, because I will talk about it until the day I die.), I don't want to say I was looking for myself because that's so cliched, but it's true. I wasn't doing it actively or anything, like waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and saying to myself, "Ok, what will I learn today?" There was one time I sorf of did that, in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was not having a good time there, lots of culture shock, figuring out how to deal with the people primarily, and being frustrated at all this... work... I was having to do. So at this temple to Confucius, I prayed to him, for the ability to understand the locals, myself, my environment be it Vietnam or anywhere else. I walked back out into the courtyard of the temple and met a Buddhist monk. I was wearing a Buddha pendant and he had noticed it. Meanwhile, a Buddhist nun approached and talked to the Mrs. Then we sit down and 2 local guys come up to us and start talking, wanting to practice their English. They were very nice and we talked about many different things for about an hour. For all the people there making me cuss and mutter like a freak, it was a relief to know that there were others like us, just wanting to meet people from other walks of life.

Later, within the course of a week, I would meet 3 people who all said pretty much the same thing: Don't live your life worrying or thinking about money, just do that which brings you happiness. I heard this from a drunk, old American ex-pat who loved the Libyan people and didn't have a problem being a letch in front of the Mrs., a Thai woman who ran a money-losing bar after having left her hometown which made money from sex tourists, and from Mr. Q. He was a Thai of Chinese descent and ran a guesthouse on the outskirts of a town called Pai. He used to own another guesthouse (which in Pai meant a group of bamboo huts) in town, but he had problems with some of the other locals, and then as the town got more popular, he didn't want to deal with so many tourists. So he moved out a little bit, up a hill, and built a new place, slowly, with his own hands. He told us he didn't care about making as much money as he could and didn't want just anybody staying with him. He would turn people away if he got a bad vibe from them, if he thought they were just into drinking and partying. And this isn't to say he didn't like to drink, because he did. He let us stay there, though maybe part of the reason was because we told him Joey sent us and they had really hit it off when Joey was there. We only had a few days there, and Joey and the people who were staying there when we arrived all talked about what a great man he was, (all Joey told me before we got there was that Mr. Q would take care of us), how they had seen something differently (marriage, life, whatever) and they attributed it to him. About halfway thru our time there, I began to lament the fact that I hadn't had this opportunity with him; he was kind of private and wouldn't necessarily hang out with his guests. But that night he did, we had some drinks with him and talked about all sorts of things. And then, I don't remember what we had been talking about, but he was suddenly talking to me, about me, about my future, though he wouldn't tell me my future.

He said (from my journal entry that night, 4/9/02), "I see you. Your face never changes. You are smooth. You are smart. You know what you want. You will take care of your family. You will be a big man, not like the president but you will be big, take care of your family. You will make money in computers. Help people. You will help people. Your face is smooth, will not change. You are smart."

I almost didn't realize he was talking directly to me, but when I did we were alone, me and him. My heart felt like it stopped beating and there were only these words he was saying to me, this nobody. I like that he said I was smooth. He didn't mean that I was slick and cool, but calm and together, that things didn't faze me, or wouldn't, because what's this entry if not me being fazed. Taking care of my family, helping people, I really couldn't ask for more. I've definitely realized that I do come from caregivers, not in the occupational sense like a nurse, but in how they live(d) their lives, specifically my mom and grandmother. That was soemthing else I discovered over there, that for the most part, all the anonymous faces want is to be happy and to take care of their families and those they love.

Now, it's almost 3 years later and I'm still struggling to make this so. To stop saying these things and talking about this or writing about it, and to live this way. I'm not sure what it's going to take for me to apply this but if I don't I may very well drive myself crazy and... worse... drive away those close to me.

exhales. looks at the clock. time to go to work. which is for sucks.

1 Comments:

At 2/02/2005 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Ennea said...

Hey, this was a great entry. I love the few opportunities I get to see deeper into the soul of my friends - so thanks, even though I know you wrote this for yourself more than others. As for your bringing up "the trip", never apologize for that! I, too, will forever bring up my own "trip" because it was a momentous life event, so personal and life changing there's no way anyone can come close to understanding unless they've experienced the same thing. And the life changing part was internal more than external. I still work in high-tech, getting paid ridiculous $ for what I do but now I can deal with it much better. And I know I have options if I ever do get tired of dealing with it. As for worrying about money, I grew up super poor. You know, the only child of a single mother in Mississippi. :) We literally had only popcorn & canned tuna to eat at times. In 1998, I performed a ritual (was a practicing pagan at the time) wherein I made a promise to myself to never worry about money again. I'd spent over 30 years obsessively worrying about it, then I really just stopped. And it's not been an issue since even though there have been times when I had to put my mortgage payment on my credit card. I just refuse to worry - I analyze the situation, make a plan, and then execute it. And so far, it's always worked out. Often, since I quit worrying, money comes to me from the most surprising places at the times when I really need it. So, don't stay discouraged. I think Mr. Q is right about you. :)

 

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